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Genesis chapter 23

1
Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old.
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She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
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Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said,
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"I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead."
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The Hittites replied to Abraham,
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"Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead."
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Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites.
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He said to them, "If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf
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so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you."
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Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city.
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"No, my lord," he said. "Listen to me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead."
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Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land
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and he said to Ephron in their hearing, "Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there."
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Ephron answered Abraham,
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"Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver, but what is that between me and you? Bury your dead."
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Abraham agreed to Ephron's terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.
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So Ephron's field in Machpelah near Mamre-- both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field-- was deeded
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to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city.
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Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
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So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.

Genesis chapter 24

1
Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way.
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He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh.
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I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living,
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but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac."
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The servant asked him, "What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?"
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"Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said.
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"The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father's household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land'-- he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.
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If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there."
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So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
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Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and left, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor.
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He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
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Then he prayed, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
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See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water.
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May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'-- let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."
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Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor.
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The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
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The servant hurried to meet her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar."
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"Drink, my lord," she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
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After she had given him a drink, she said, "I'll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking."
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So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels.
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Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful.
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When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.
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Then he asked, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night?"
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She answered him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milcah bore to Nahor."
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And she added, "We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night."
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Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD,
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saying, "Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives."
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The girl ran and told her mother's household about these things.
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Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring.
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As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring.
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"Come, you who are blessed by the LORD," he said. "Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels."
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So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet.
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Then food was set before him, but he said, "I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say." "Then tell us," [Laban] said.
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So he said, "I am Abraham's servant.
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The LORD has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys.
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My master's wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns.
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And my master made me swear an oath, and said, 'You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,
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but go to my father's family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.'
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"Then I asked my master, 'What if the woman will not come back with me?'
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"He replied, 'The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father's family.
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Then, when you go to my clan, you will be released from my oath even if they refuse to give her to you-- you will be released from my oath.'
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"When I came to the spring today, I said, 'O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come.
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See, I am standing beside this spring; if a maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar,"
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and if she says to me, "Drink, and I'll draw water for your camels too," let her be the one the LORD has chosen for my master's son.'
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"Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, 'Please give me a drink.'
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"She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too.' So I drank, and she watered the camels also.
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"I asked her, 'Whose daughter are you?' "She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.' "Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms,
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and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master's brother for his son.
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Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn."
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Laban and Bethuel answered, "This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.
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Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has directed."
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When Abraham's servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD.
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Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.
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Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, "Send me on my way to my master."
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But her brother and her mother replied, "Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; then you may go."
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But he said to them, "Do not detain me, now that the LORD has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master."
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Then they said, "Let's call the girl and ask her about it."
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So they called Rebekah and asked her, "Will you go with this man?" "I will go," she said.
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So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham's servant and his men.
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And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies."
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Then Rebekah and her maids got ready and mounted their camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
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Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev.
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He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.
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Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel
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and asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?" "He is my master," the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
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Then the servant told Isaac all he had done.
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Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

Luke chapter 9

1
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases,
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and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
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He told them: "Take nothing for the journey-- no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.
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Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.
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If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them."
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So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
7
Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead,
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others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.
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But Herod said, "I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?" And he tried to see him.
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When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida,
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but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
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Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."
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He replied, "You give them something to eat." They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish-- unless we go and buy food for all this crowd."
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(About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each."
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The disciples did so, and everybody sat down.
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Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people.
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They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
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Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"
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They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
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"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
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Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.
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And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
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Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
24
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
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What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
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If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
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I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."
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About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
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As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
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Two men, Moses and Elijah,
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appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
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Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
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As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters-- one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.)
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While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
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A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."
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When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.
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The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.
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A man in the crowd called out, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.
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A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.
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I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not."
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"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."
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Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
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And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,
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"Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men."
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But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
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An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.
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Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.
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Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-- he is the greatest."
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"Master," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us."
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"Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you."
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As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
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And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him;
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but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.
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When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?"
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But Jesus turned and rebuked them,
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and they went to another village.
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As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
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Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
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He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
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Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
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Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
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Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
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